Landlord Prerogatives to Evict Tenants in San Francisco

As San Francisco landlord-tenant lawyers, the attorneys of Steven Adair MacDonald & Partners, resolve more than 300 landlord-tenant disputes a year, many involving Owner-Move-In and illegal unit evictions. We have a combined 100+ years of experience in landlord-tenant and real estate law in San Francisco and the Bay Area.

There are 16 lawful reasons for renter eviction in San Francisco; seven relate to the behavior of the tenant and nine are landlord prerogatives. Some of these are:

  • Owner-Move-In
  • Condo conversion and sale of property
  • Demolition or removal of an illegal unit (such as a mother-in-law apartment)
  • Temporary eviction for renovation and capital improvements
  • Temporary eviction for lead removal
  • Permanent eviction for rehabilitation of units in a building over 50 years old and either condemned or worthy of being condemned
  • Ellis Act – the removal of a building from the rental market altogether


From the standpoint of potential tenant lawsuits against the landlord, condo conversions, temporary evictions, demolition evictions, and Ellis Act evictions can be very difficult for a tenant to defend against. This is because the law clearly states how much compensation and notice tenants are to be given in these situations.

Owner-move-in lawsuits, on the other hand, could be expensive, difficult, and involve drawn out proceedings. To illustrate, if the owner is a first-time buyer of a single-family home with no previous relationship to the tenant, the case for owner-move-in eviction is clear-cut. However, if the owner is seeking to evict a renter in a multi-unit building with whom the owner has had a less-than-perfect relationship in the past, the owner’s good faith eviction motives will come into question.

Resolution of Conflicts

At Steven Adair MacDonald & Partners, we pride ourselves on achieving the best possible outcome for our clients in the most economical manner. Creative solutions to complicated scenarios are our strong suit.

Our attorneys are available to take your case to court and they are prepared to win. With 100+ combined years of real estate law litigation and having handled thousands of cases, we know that the vast majority of renter eviction cases are settled before they reach the trial stage. Knowing this, we analyze our client’s situation to see if we can help them find an agreement earlier in the process, saving our clients an enormous amount of time and money.

Our landlord-tenant lawyers offer a variety of conflict resolution methods, including mediation, negotiation and litigation. Please contact a San Francisco landlord-tenant attorney at Steven Adair MacDonald & Partners, P.C. for an initial consultation to review your case.

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